CIS Technology Update: Early Edition
Preparing for the Academic Year: Network Vulnerabilities, Viruses and Threats,
and What You Can Do to Protect Your Computer
Greetings and welcome (back) to SPU! As you prepare for the upcoming school
year, please be aware of the following issues if you plan to connect a computer
to the campus network:
- Unpatched, unprotected computers that are plugged into the campus network
WILL become infected with computer viruses within 3-5 minutes of being connected.
- To avoid becoming infected, computers must have the latest critical operating
system patches installed.
- SPU requires that all computers run current, automatically updating anti-virus
- There are many new threats (technically, what are referred to as "bots"
and "spyware") that are rampant throughout the Internet; your computer may
even now be unknowingly infected.
Before you arrive to campus:
When you arrive:
- Microsoft Windows computers should have the critical patches from Microsoft
installed prior to arriving on campus. This will speed up your setup
when you arrive, and ease congestion on the campus network. If you are able
to do so, please go to http://www.windowsupdate.com and install all critical
Windows updates right away. This should include up to the latest critical
release, Service Pack 2.
- There are a number of free software programs available for you to clean
your system of spyware and bots. A couple of very handy sites are http://www.spychecker.com/software/antispy.html
and http://www.download.com . Some tools that we've found very useful include
Ad-aware, SpyBot Search and Destroy, and Hijack This.
Of special note to students living on campus:
- Operating system patches and anti-virus software MUST be installed BEFORE
you plug your computer into the network.
- The Computer and Information Systems department (CIS) will provide free
network security CDs that include a number of important tools to address the
issues noted above. If you are living on-campus, these CDs will be provided
at the time you check in. Residential and commuter students may also obtain
these CDs from CIS (located in Lower Marston Hall) or from the Office of Safety
- CIS also provides anti-virus software from McAfee to all students free of
charge. This software will be available on the CDs mentioned above.
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Office 2003, and a variety
of other Microsoft products are available at very modest cost ($10-$20 per
title). See the CIS Help Desk link below for more information.
There are many technology resources available at SPU to help you work safely and
make the most of the academic opportunities that a campus network provides. For
details, please go to http://www.spu.edu/CISHelpDesk or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After you configure your cleaned, patched, virus-protected computer for
access to the campus network, (configuration details are provided on the security
CD), you will need to log in with your SPU email username and password to
obtain network access. This is a new process that will allow us to more effectively
track and isolate virus outbreaks. Simply open up a web page with Mozilla
Firefox, Internet Explorer, Netscape, or any other web browser to trigger
the login process. After logging in, your computer will be scanned for current
viruses; you will be alerted should any significant viruses be found.
Finally, please note that SPU email is the standard communication medium for all
official campus communications. Remember to check this account regularly as the
start of school approaches. If you have additional addresses that you prefer to
use, your SPU email may be forwarded to those accounts. For details, search the
computer help pages (linked above) with the keywords: email forward.
Hope you've had a great summer! See you soon!
- CIS Help